If being an apartheid state means committing inhumane acts, systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, then Israel is guilty, a United Nations panel has determined in a new report.
By Ruth Eglash / The Washington Post
March 16, 2017
“[Concluding that Israel has established an apartheid regime] is not an easy matter for a United Nations entity. In recent years, some have labeled Israeli practices as racist, while others have warned that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state. A few have raised the question as to whether in fact it already has.”
— Rima Khalaf, U.N. Undersecretary General
Titled, “Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” the report was written by Richard Falk, a former U.N. special rapporteur to the Palestinian territories known for harsh criticisms of both Israel and the United States, and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University.
The two concluded that Israel has established an apartheid regime aimed at dominating the Palestinians. Their recommendations include reviving the U.N. Center Against Apartheid, which closed in 1994 after South Africa ended its apartheid practices. . . .
Dividing the Palestinian people into four distinct groups, the authors write that although they are treated differently by Israel, they all face “the racial oppression that results from the apartheid regime.”
The first group identified is the roughly 1.7 million Palestinians who are full citizens of Israel, but who, the report found, live under “martial law” and are subjected to oppression because they are not Jewish.
The second group highlighted in the report is the estimated 300,000 Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem, a mostly Arab area. The report said these Palestinians “experience discrimination in access to education, health care, employment, residency and building rights.”
The third group includes the 4.6 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza. In the West Bank, the Jewish residents known as settlers are governed by Israeli civil law, while Palestinians live under military rule.
“This dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime,” said the authors.
The last group discussed in the report are the millions of Palestinian refugees who live outside Israeli territory and who are prohibited from returning to their homes in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territory.
“Israel defends its rejection of the Palestinians’ return in frankly racist language: alleging that Palestinians constitute a ‘demographic threat’ and that their return would alter the demographic character of Israel to the point of eliminating it as a Jewish state,” wrote Falk and Tilley.